Bishop Jaech’s letter on our political turmoil 1-14-21

Posted by on Jan 14, 2021 in Slider |

January 14, 2021 Dear Friends, Surrounded by turmoil and violence in our nation, it is more important than ever for Christ’s church to be a visible, public church. Filled with God’s grace and Spirit, we are set free to courageously bring God’s love, healing, and justice to all around us. In our Lutheran tradition, we describe ourselves this way: (I give thanks to Dr. Cynthia Moe-Lobeda, professor at Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary, for summarizing our historical Lutheran teaching in the following framework.) We are God’s beloved. This is the first and most important truth about who we are. God treasures us and all people, not based on our performance, status, ethnicity, mindset, or wealth, but out of God’s infinite and unconditional love for every person and all creation. We are broken. Despite God’s constant, caring presence, we fear that we are alone in the world and that our safety and success depend on our own frantic efforts. Feeling threatened, we adopt “survival skills” that quickly include competition, manipulation, and violence. Captured by fear and distrust, our hearts, families, and communities break apart. We are bearers of God’s love, bringing healing and justice to all around us and to creation itself. Released from our fears and survival strategies by God’s grace, we are set free to love God, our neighbor, and creation in daily, concrete ways. As I look at all the turbulence around us, I feel called to make these specific faith commitments:  I will strive to see and treat each person I meet as one of God’s beloved, including those whose words and actions are unfamiliar or even abhorrent to me. With the Spirit’s help, I will see that, at their core, they are one of God’s dear ones. I will ask and expect that other people see and treat me as one of God’s beloved as well. When my own fears lead me to mistreat and demean others, I expect those around me to confront me, name my particular brokenness, and help me return to God’s way of compassion and justice. When I see another person mistreating and demeaning others, I will confront them, name their particular brokenness, and help them return to God’s way. I will oppose violence in every instance and will work to transform our conflict into honest, healing dialogue. I accept and support political advocacy, marches, and non-violent civil disobedience as legitimate means towards seeking justice within our democracy. However, violence towards people and institutions, such as we saw last week in the armed assault against our nation’s Capitol building and congressional leaders, is never to be tolerated. Those doing the violence and those encouraging them, including President Trump, must be held accountable and removed...

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Prayer for Civility in Public Discourse

Posted by on Nov 2, 2020 in Slider |

Prayer for Civility in Public Discourse, Pastors Baumann, Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Port Angeles, March 2016  There have been many conversations among us sisters and brothers in Christ about the current loss of civility in public discourse, locally and nationally. We offer this prayer to you for your personal use and to share with others. Almighty God: Bless the public servants in the government of this town, Port Angeles, WA, that they may do their work in a spirit of wisdom, charity, and justice. Help them use their authority to serve faithfully and to promote our common life. Bless us, the citizens of this town that we, in times of conflict, engage one another without hatred or bitterness, that we listen for your voice amid competing claims, and that we work together with mutual forbearance and respect. Bless us, the voters in the upcoming presidential election. Help us elect trustworthy leaders, give us the wisdom to make the right choices for the benefit of our communities and inspire us to serve all our neighbors. Bless the leaders of our land that we may be at peace among ourselves, and a blessing to other nations of the earth. Gracious God:  Where hearts are fearful and constricted, grant courage and hope. Where anxiety is infectious and widening, grant peace and reassurance. Where impossibilities close every door and window, grant imagination and resistance. Where distrust twists our thinking, grant healing and illumination.  All these things we ask in the name of Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord....

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